The initiative group of the public movement For Rioni Gorge Rescue quit the mediation format. The organization said in a statement that the anti-Namakhvani HPP protest continued non-stop for more than 300 days.
The protest impeded the illegal construction process. The population learnt about the confidential agreement concluded between the Georgian government and Turkish Company ENKA, based on which ENKA became the owner of 605 hectares of land in western Georgia.
Georgian government applied to the EU Energy Union to mediate between the government and Namakhvani HPP opponents to discharge the tension. The initiative group believed the mediation process would solve the conflict. The negotiations were underway behind closed doors for more than three months that prompted the group to quit the format.
The protests against Namakhvani HPP construction have been underway in western Georgia for almost ten months. Georgian government suspended the HPP construction for 9 to 12 months for the environmental, geological, and seismological surveys to be reviewed. Nevertheless, local protesters plan to continue rallies. They believe the HPP would harm the environment and would be built regardless of opposition.
Turkish company ENKA gained the right to develop, build, own and operate the Namakhvani Hydropower project in 2017.